Transforming the Predator: Representations of the Child Sexual Abuser in 21st Century American Visual Media
Description: This thesis examines the ways American visual media -television and mainstream/independent cinema- has presented the narrative of child sexual abuse since the beginning of the 21st century. Due to the rise of the counterculture movement and the sexual revolution of the 1960s, a discourse for talking about child sexuality was created. By providing an opportunity to discuss children and sex, for the first time cultural products could deal overtly with child sexual abuse, rather than connotatively. In response to this new discourse, conservative ideals about child sexuality proliferated in the 1970s and 1980s that attempted to return the child to a world of purity and asexuality with all threats to this purity being monstrous. The examples discussed in this thesis highlight the ways that contemporary American visual media has responded to three decades of obsession that created a "master narrative" of child sexual abuse - something that continues to play a significant role in society.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Jay, Samuel M.